10 Things to Know About our Salute to the Czech Republic

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In 2018, Memphis in May International Festival will salute the Czech Republic during its month-long celebration. If you've ever wondered what our International Week looks like, or are curious what specific elements we have in store for this May, here are 10 things you should know about our honored country salute.

  1. The centerpiece of this year's salute is entitled One Night in Prague: A Sensory Celebration of the Czech Republic and features music from Czech's own Epoque Quartet. The world-renown group fuses their classical training with funk, rock and jazz for an upbeat program. In addition, the night includes a gourmet sampling of Czech cuisine and it all takes place at the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday, May 10. Tickets are just $15 and can be purchased here.
  2. Czech Republic is the 38th different honored country in the 42-year history of Memphis in May. Canada, Japan and The Netherlands have all been saluted twice, while the 20th anniversary featured a culmulative salute of all prior countries. 
  3. Seven-time Czech award-winner Dan Bárta and the exceptional Illustratosphere will be performing at this year's Beale Street Music Festival
  4. The Cuisine of Czech Republic event features renowned Czech chef, best-selling author, TV personality and entrepreneur Zdenek Pohlreich. The evening's menu is posted here and the option to add on a wine tasting is included.
  5. Our award-winning Education Program focuses on our honored country every year. While there are several facets to the program, our Student Exchange trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. One trip takes 10 Memphis students to our honored country, while a second trip brings students from the saluted country to Memphis. 
  6. Some of the top minds that hail from our honored country are brought in every year to present during our speaker/lecture series. Award-winning Czech architect Kamil Mrva, Ph.D., is set to present on Wednesday, May 9.
  7. Several different art exhibits will be set up around town for you to enjoy. They range from Czech history to the inventions that originated from our honored country.
  8. We've partnered up with Indie Memphis again as we present the Cinema of Czech Republic lineup. Showings of the five spectacular films are spread throughout the month and begin with a special viewing/Q&A session of Family Friend on Tuesday, May 8.
  9. Grammy winner Booker T. Jones will be performing during the Castles & Crystals International Gala on Friday, May 11. The event is held at the Peabody Hotel and includes dancing, dinner and a terrific evening out.
  10. Another special aspect of our Education program is the Children's Poster competition. Shelby County students ranging from kindegarten to 6th grade submit an original work cenetered around our honored country and we produce prints of the winning poster, which is announced during our Education Awards Ceremony (held on April 18).
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